Four Alternatives to a Traditional Resume

By | April 18, 2015

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Every job seeker has experienced what it’s like to submit resume after resume only to be greeted by silence. When weeks turn into months, the failure to receive a response can leave even the most intrepid souls feeling dispirited and hopeless. Instead of falling into a downward spiral, consider that it might be time to take a less traditional approach with your resume.  These four resume alternatives may have a significant impact on the number of interview requests that you receive.

  1. Ditch the resume in favor of a proposal. This first tactic is certainly the most drastic, and that’s because it requires getting rid of your resume altogether. In it’s place, you should send a proposal that solves a problem the company is currently facing in the market. There’s no getting around the fact that this particular approach involves some risk, and quite a bit of time and effort. However, one study claimed that sixty percent of their job seekers secured an interview within two weeks of submitting a proposal instead of a resume. While there are never any guarantees, those are pretty good odds if you ask us.
  2. Emphasize relevance, not chronology. Traditional resumes typically break out work history in chronological order. However, that may not be the best way to tell your story. Don’t bury all of your relevant work experience in an effort to conform to an old set of rules. Draw out all of the skill sets and accomplishments that make you a contender, and put them front and center.  It’s still worthwhile to include the rest of your work history, but push it further down on the page where the real estate is less valuable.
  3. Show ‘em you got skill-z. Sometimes, employers just need to know that you’ve got the goods. Plumbers, truck drivers, secretaries, nurses, and dental hygienists are just a few examples of jobs where the same tasks need to be performed with expertise on a daily basis. Job seekers in these fields should place a full list of their skills at the beginning of the resume followed by a work history.
  4. Get graphic. It might be smart to incorporate graphics into your resume. Infographics are valuable because they can highlight your most marketable skills to a recruiter at a glance. However, make sure your design doesn’t jeopardize the ability of search engines to read your resume. We featured some fantastic resume builders in this blog post.

One caveat before you proceed with a resume that breaks with tradition. The point of breaking “the rules” is to paint yourself as a candidate in the best possible light. Don’t get too wacky in a bid to gain attention. Present yourself professionally, and use your knowledge of industry standards to determine whether these four alternatives to a traditional resume are in fact appropriate – and relevant – to your job search.

If you’d like more advice, tips and research to aid you in your job search, visit MyJobHelper.